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The insurance companies are not grillrooms

18 March 2010 / 07:03:57  GRReporter
4178 reads

Marina Nikolova


“Pavlos Psomiadis to go in prison!” want the people affected by the bankruptcy of the insurance company Aspida. Over 300 people were protesting in front of the building of the Ministry of finance at the central square Syntagma in order to express their anger that the government is trying to run from the responsibility and does not guarantee they will receive their savings back which they have worked for through their entire life and had disappeared like a smoke along with the director of the insurance company Pavlos Psomiadis.

In the beginning of the protest the organizers hand out flyers which were informing in details about all the actions which they have taken starting at the moment when the bankruptcy of the company was announced on September 9th, 2009, through the promises of the deputy minister of finance Filipos Sahnidis that until Christmas the case of the people insured will be solved, then comes a period of patient expectation which ends in February 2010 when the people affected by the bankruptcy leave for Brussels where they file an indictment within the European commission.

The people are reading quickly the flyers, they get informed and they turn to the people who are standing closes to them to share their outrage and anger. More and more people from all ages arrive, who have trusted with their savings to the two bankrupt insurance companies Aspida Pronia and Commercial Value. Nobody can believe that the government will leave the people who were insured with no compensation and nobody can live with the thought that they have no money for their old ages or they have no health insurance which he has already paid “in gold”.

“The insurance companies are not grillrooms, nor they are hairdressers’ saloons and that is why there is supervision over them in every country. It is not possible that the government is trying to run from its responsibility. The people have invested their money and they have invested it in the second biggest insurance company in Greece in order to feel secure. When this security is no longer there where are we headed?!” says Mr. Nikos Kehaioglou, one of the organizers of the Union of the people affected by the bankruptcy.

The emotions of the people are too strong and they cannot be hidden when it comes a word about the lost confidence and security, which caused many sleepless nights in the last few months. A proof for the incompetence of the system, which left the people insured to the mercy of the faith is the story of a 74 years old woman. “I work in Germany for 45 years, I have cancer and I was convinced to invest my money in Aspida with the belief that this is a Greek insurance company and I invested 250 000 euro. I am 74 years old and Mr. Financial minister protects this Psomiadis. I have worked 45 years in the snow and I want my money back! If I lay my eyes on this Psomiadis I will personally lynch him!”

However the question which all of them are asking themselves is “why the director and owner of Aspida Pavlos Psomiadis is still free”, nobody could give the answer to this question. “He gave a false cheque for the amount of 500 million euro to the Bank of Greece and unfortunately instead of the director of the bank calling the police and putting him in prison, he is now free” says Mr. Kehaioglou.

In this spirit are also the slogans of the protesting people saying “Keep your hands down from our money!”, “Put the thieves in prison!”, “Ridiculous supervision, unreliable country!” and “Sahinidi, find a solution now!”. With these slogans the people who were present headed for the Parliament in order to file official letters to the Prime Minister Gorgeous Papandreou, to the Chairman of the Parliament Filipos Petsalnikos, to the leaders of the parties and to the President of the Republic Karlos Papulias with the request of immediate meeting with them.

“If the problem is not solved now, it will be solved by necessity from the European court. We will have a hard time for few years, however the government will be forced to pay the insurances as well as the interest. That is why it is of interest to the government to solve the problem today. I wand to thank to some people in the Parliament who are trying to find a solution – Mr. Lafazanis from SIRIZA and Mr. Voridis from LAOS” added Mr. Kehaiolou.

According to his words the Union of the people affected, in which are members some lawyers as well as accountants have formulated specific suggestions for the solution of the case, “which put the government in the position of a debtor in about ten years. These suggestions we want to introduce in the Permanent committee of the financial matters of the Parliament. Currently we keep in constant touch with some members of parliament and most of all those who are in the committee in order to influence for the case to be solved in the direction it is supposed to be solved and not to be necessary to enact the charges which we have already filed in the European Commission and take the government to the European court. We do not want this shame. However we will do it if we are forced to!” was explicit Mr. Kehaioglou.  

At the end Mr. Kehaioglou gave some examples for similar cases of withdrawal of the right for development of activity of insurance companies in other countries where the insurers were completely secured by the government. “The responsibility of the government is enormous because the insurance and banking industry are very sensitive – the people are putting in their money and lifetime savings, investing it for pension, they insure their lives, they insure their health. Nobody could get insured a second time with the same conditions he had done it the first time… In any case when there is a withdrawal of the right for development of activity or a problem in the insurance company all the mechanisms are enacted right away. The most recent example is with the insurance company AIG where the damages were at the amount of 260 million dollars, however the American government decided to solve the problem before it has even become one. Also the company Aspis in Sweden in the same day when it went bankruptcy the rights of the insured people were transferred to another insurance company. And nobody heard anything. They only received a letter of notification that from now on they will be serviced by another insurance company”.

Let us remind that in the Parliament has been introduced a bill according to which the people who are insured in the bankrupted Aspida Pronia will be able after a period of six years to receive 50% of their insurances. Their requests as we already wrote are to receive a hundred percent compensation for their insurances or to be transferred to other companies.

Tags: NewsCompanies Insurers pensions Aspida
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